An attempt to include a decarbonisation target for 2030 in the Energy Bill has been thrown out in the House of Commons.
Voting on an amendment requiring such a target to take carbon out of electricity generation was defeated at the report stage by 290 votes to 267.
It was backed by a group of backbenchers led by the Conservative chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Tim Yeo (left) and his Labour committee colleague Barry Gardiner.
The Government had said it would seek to reject any amendments to the bill, as well as opposing the setting of an EU-wide 2030 renewable energy target.
The Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said the vote was disappointing and made the EU-level carbon emissions target for 2030 even more important.
“Failing to decarbonise our electricity supply industry will have long term consequences both environmentally and economically,” he said.
“The Government’s own advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, state that relying on gas will only save the country money in a scenario of low gas prices, whereas switching to renewables would save the country £25 to £45bn by the 2020s.”
Mike Barry, head of sustainable business at Marks and Spencer, said on Twitter: “Shame 2030 decarbonisation amendment to the Energy Bill failed. Low carbon economy needs long term policy framework.”